When people get birthday presents, they may think of material goods such as jewelry or gift cards.
But for ASU softball freshman pitcher Breanna Macha, she celebrated the birthday of a lifetime after throwing a no-hitter for the Sun Devils against Binghamton.
On her 19th birthday, Macha threw eight no-hit innings in ASU’s 1-0 victory to split a doubleheader in the Louisville Slugger Invitational.
ASU (13-6) didn't have a run through the first seven innings, meaning Macha had to go out for extra innings.
“Seventh inning they were talking about the no-no and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, don’t say it, knock on wood, knock on wood,’ so we all knocked on wood,” Macha said.
Senior outfielder Sierra Rodriguez won the game for ASU on an RBI single to center field, scoring junior Raianna Dobbs. Because of international tiebreaker rules, teams start with a runner at second.
Macha, ASU coach Craig Nicholson and senior catcher Amber Freeman each said Macha's changeup was working well for her. Though with six walks in the game, Macha said there was still room for improvement.
Macha threw 123 pitches against Binghamton after throwing 21 in the day's earlier game, but Nicholson said he wasn't taking her out of the game.
On the other side of the equation, ASU recognized that it wasn’t a good game for the team. The Sun Devils were held to four hits and one run against a school that allowed 9.8 runs per game entering the day.
Freeman said part of the offensive struggle was because Binghamton pitcher Cara Martin threw the ball slow, and ASU wasn't able to sit back on the pitches.
"As a whole that was not a very good game," Freeman said. "Granted they made some really great plays … but as a whole we thought that was very embarrassing and we were not happy with that win."
No. 3 Michigan uses four-run sixth to best ASU
ASU came into play knowing No. 3 Michigan was on a roll. The Wolverines (15-1) had won 14 consecutive games after their loss to open the season and scored 20 runs in the Friday’s earlier game (15 in one inning).
So ASU holding Michigan to three runs through five innings in the evening game was a moderate success, but the Wolverines seized control of the game with a four-run sixth inning — all runs scored with two outs — two win the game 7-5.
ASU freshman pitcher Dale Ryndak was hit hard, allowing 13 hits, seven earned runs (three home runs) in 5.2 innings. She also walked a batter and struck out six on 118 pitches.
Michigan’s No. 9 hitter, shortstop Abby Ramirez, singled with a runner at second in the sixth inning, and later scored on a home run from leadoff hitter Sierra Lawrence. After the home run, the Wolverines hit three consecutive singles to tack on another run.
ASU got a run back off a home run from senior first baseman Bethany Kemp. In the bottom of the seventh, ASU actually had a chance for a third walk-off grand slam of the season. However, sophomore shortstop Chelsea Gonzales hit into a fielder’s choice and Kemp grounded out to end the game.
Michigan originally got on the board on a long home run from catcher Lauren Sweet. ASU took the lead in the bottom of the frame when Sierra Rodriguez doubled to right field with the bases loaded to score two runs.
All the damage was done with two outs, and after Kemp flied out to the warning track, there was a coaching visit. The next two batters walked and junior outfielder Abby Spiel singled, setting up Gonzales.
But Michigan’s offense was too powerful on Friday, and the Wolverines evened up the game on a home run, and took command in the sixth inning with six hits in the inning.
Nicholson said Gonzales would get X-rays because she fouled a ball off her toe.
“She’s in some pain right now so we’ll see what happens,” he said
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